Teenagers are an extremely curious bunch. Once they reach this certain point in their lives, they begin trying out new things. Alcohol consumption is one of their first cracks at “adulthood.” However, their inexperience with alcohol can easily lead them to stitches.
Teenage alcoholism is a real phenomenon. In one study, it has been shown that over three million teenagers are already alcoholics. This can be due to the fact that about 40 percent of those who drink before they’re 15 meet criteria for alcohol dependence. At times, some get into the dreaded “alcoholic” plateau way too early.
Alcoholism in teens may differ in certain ways, evident by varying signs which may be pretty obvious or inconspicuous. However, most of the time, symptoms common among adult alcoholics include sleep problems/fatigue, depression, isolation, school issues (e.g. skipping classes and bad grades), and alcohol consumption for “reasons” (i.e. for self-soothing or as a sleeping aid). There’s also the obvious indicators like regular drinking during the weekdays, or even during the day, and progressive drinking that leads to an increased tolerance.
Fortunately, it is possible to prevent teenage alcoholism, and the best tool is a no-brainer: education. Being an insatiable and overly curious bunch, teens rarely know the ins and outs of drinking alcohol. There’s also the importance of knowing underage drinking laws, which studies have shown can be a powerful deterrent.